Google Glass and the Future of Wearable Computers

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More and more, I read about wearable computers that track our every move and give us information to make our lives easier.  Are these devices a good thing or will they result in an increasing lack of connection and privacy?

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According to Credit Suisse (via Fortune), the “wearables” market is poised to increase ten-fold in the next three to five years to $30B-$50B.

What’s a wearable, you ask?

A wearable is a smart and/or connected computer that you wear on your body versus carrying in your bag or in your pocket.

Some recent examples of wearables include the Fitbit Flex, the Pebble Smartwatch and of course, Google Glass.

And you better believe that there are more on their way.  Not to mention apps and other accessories to use with the wearables.

Pretty soon tech gadgets will even be able to read our emotions and people may be able to wear “smart textiles” which measure vital stats without the need for an additional physical device.

These devices are generally considered part of the “Quantified Self Movement” in which a technological device collects personal data about everything you do (eat, sleep, exercise, etc.) to help improve your life.

Most of the wearables interact with your mobile phone or computer in some way.  So, you wear the device and upload the data it collects onto your phone for tracking purposes.  This allows the technology to detect patterns and help you keep track of your consumption.

But a big question arises when we start to talk about privacy concerns.

One of the biggest questions raised about these products is how much information is the company behind them collecting about individuals?

Also, how appropriate is it to wear a device like Google Glass to the movies or a concert where content is being created and could be recorded and shared illegally?

And how uncomfortable is it to be dining with someone who is wearing one of these devices?

I personally have enough of a challenge when my boyfriend checks email during dinner.  I am not sure how I will feel when he gets Google Glass and is constantly interacting with it instead of me!

Tell us your thoughts in the Comments below…

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